THUNDER BAY – Thunder Bay will become the hub of volleyball action and development in Ontario for one weekend, February 4, 5 and 6th, as the Canadian National Women’s Volleyball Team will descend upon the Thunderdome for an exhibition match versus Lakehead and a development clinic that will highlight a host of volleyball events happening around Thunder Bay. The weekend will also feature a High School girl’s tournament, Thunder Volley II (occurring @ the Thunderdome and LU’s PACI facility), on Friday and Saturday, and the LU women’s team will host the Ottawa Gee Gees for a double header @ 7pm Friday and Saturday. The Northwestern volleyball community will also be the benefactor of a coaching clinic and player’s skills development camp put on by the National Team and the Ontario Volleyball Association (OVA), which occurs Sunday morning (February 6).
The weekend’s events will be cap-stoned by an exhibition match between the National Team and the LU Thunderwolves, happening Sunday, February 6th at 1:30. This will be followed by a banquet for the National Team, LU’s team, and Lakehead VIPs at the Italian Cultural Center. Additional tickets will be available for members of the public interested in attending (See contact info for tickets below).
All of these have the makings for a great weekend of volleyball, whether you’re a fan, coach, or player, and is also a unique opportunity for Thunder Bay volleyballers to take advantage of the coaching and player talent that will be on display. This will be the first trip to Thunder Bay for the National Team, an event that the OVA has made possible through grants they received from the Trillium Fund.
OVA Executive Director Steve Carroll is glad to bring this event to Thunder Bay, “”The Ontario Volleyball Association is proud to partner with Lakehead University, Volleyball Canada and the National Women’s Volleyball Team and OVA Region One to support this exciting event in Thunder Bay. The local volleyball community will be treated to some world class volleyball and have an opportunity to learn from the expertise and resources surrounding the national team program.”
It will also be an opportunity for the National Team to experience Thunder Bay hospitality, something that excites Team Canada player Claire Hanna. “I think it’s a great opportunity for us as Team Canada athletes to get to see the smaller communities in Canada. Sport in anyone’s life, especially children, can help develop lifelong skills like competitiveness, hard work and perseverance. I’ve never been to Thunder Bay and I’m also very excited to see this part of Canada as well!,” shares Hanna.
As Head Coach, Arnd Ludwig (aka Lupo) embraces the role that the National Team plays as mentors to the next generation of volleyball players and coaches across Canada, “It is important that we expose ourselves to the whole country. It is a great motivation for young players when they see National Team athletes in person and even more when they have the chance to practice with them. We hope that more girls will play volleyball by doing these events. For us, it is motivating to go somewhere just to get out of the day- to- day routine and we thank Thunder Bay for helping us in doing this.”
LU Head Coach Chris Green is honored to host the best in the country for a unique learning and experiential opportunity. “We are very excited and honored to have Team Canada visit us. Great coaches with a great history and passion for our game, and players who know what it is to train hard towards success will provide our city’s youth in our growing and developing sport of Volleyball in Thunder Bay. I think our coaches will benefit greatly as will our High School and Club Volleyball (Superior North Volleyball Club) players. It is an action packed weekend with Ottawa in town for 2 games, 15 Highschool Volleyball Teams and of course the National team. It is an exciting time and to have our team Play the National team players will be an honor and a great learning experience. Join me in welcoming our nations best to Thunder Bay.”